If you're looking for a sturdy, tough, medium-sized dog that isn't too tall to share your life, consider the Norwegian elkhound. These predominately gray canines with a dark "saddle" over the back make good family dogs. Besides doting on their people, Norwegian elkhounds serve as fine watchdogs. If you enjoy hiking or other outdoor activities, these dogs can accompany you all day.
Under the American Kennel Club breed standard for the Norwegian elkhound, at maturity male dogs should stand 20 1/2 inches high at the withers -- or top of the shoulder -- with females at 19 1/2 inches. Of course, some purebred Norwegian elkhounds might grow a little taller, which is only an issue if you plan to show or breed your dog. Adult male Norwegian elkhounds should weigh approximately 55 pounds, with females somewhat lighter at 48 pounds.